I have been putting off my recaps for a while for a few different reasons, one of them being what you will read below. I apologize for my absence but hope you can understand why it took me so long to finally get started actually writing them.
Mr. Farmer and I picked up the Barn children the Thursday before the wedding. We decided that we wanted some family time to take advantage of the hotel we were staying at before all the wedding festivities started. The Hotel Metroplis, featuring an indoor water park, go-kart track, laser tag, batting cages, arcade, and rock climbing? Oh hell yeah, we were going to live it up! We also wanted to take our time getting to Wisconsin. It was a four and a half hour trip for us, so we wanted to make sure we had the time to stop for plenty of potty breaks and to stretch our legs.
It certainly wouldn’t be a Barn trip without a few selfies from Stepdaughter K.
Before checking into our hotel, we made a quick pit stop at the other hotel in our block to drop off some welcome letters. I spent the days leading up to the wedding crafting some thank you/welcome letters that our guests would receive upon check-in. It was also the perfect excuse to use up some of the leftover crafting materials, but more importantly I wanted our guests to know just how much we appreciated their attendance. We finally checked into our hotel about 15 minutes later, and immediately the children wanted to head to the water park. We didn’t have a schedule to keep, so to the water park we went.
We made use of the water park for about 30 minutes before everyone, mainly Stepson R, decided it was time to get some dinner and to clean up (hanger—serious ailment, I tell you). It was at about this time that I received a phone call that shook my whole wedding-weekend. Mama Barn had called to tell me that my uncle had just passed away. He suffered a massive heart attack just two days before, and he lost his battle.
Mr. Farmer immediately took the Barn children and left for dinner when I received the phone call (so I could have some privacy), and after I “thought” I had composed myself enough I went to join them, only to lose it again at the table. I excused myself and spent some time alone in our hotel room trying to process my emotions. The huge sense of guilt I had was overwhelming. Aunt D had instructed Mama Barn NOT to tell me about anything because she was afraid it would ruin our wedding. Mama Barn knowing me a little better told me anyway, and I am glad she did, but it didn’t change how guilty I felt about the whole thing. Uncle R and Aunt D were in my hometown, having traveled from Colorado, when Uncle R had his heart attack. They were there because of the wedding and knowing that was really difficult for me to process.
After composing myself for the final time I put on the best face I could and joined everyone for dinner. The children knowing how upset I was did everything they could to console me. When a nine-year-old slips his hand into yours and says, “It’s OK. He is in God’s arms now” and a 12-year-old wipes away your tears, there is nothing one can do but smile and be thankful for the gift of life, love, and family.
Both children held my hands as we walked to the arcade, and seeing how excited they were to be there made my grief a little easier to bear.
Mr. Farmer did everything he could to help me process all of the emotions I felt that day, and I cannot thank him enough. I don’t know if I could have been able to cope without him at my side.
I am so grateful to these three for being the perfect positive distraction that evening. I was able to put on a brave face and enjoy the rest of the evening playing with the kids, knowing that my uncle would want me to enjoy this time in my life. I didn’t want to disappoint the children who had been looking forward to this, so I did the best I could to maintain my normal bubbly mood.
How could I not enjoy the time spent with these three? It really was just what I needed.
Some of our bridal party made the trip early as well, and we spent the remainder of the evening greeting them and taking turns racing on the go-kart track.
The attendant who was running the track was nice enough to let these two have a little battle of the siblings, and it was hysterical watching them fly by each other. He got quite the work-out with our group as I don’t recall a single match that someone from the Barn crew wasn’t racing on the track. The attendant even had an “adults only” race where we were able to go faster than the normal pace. Seeing a bunch of adults racing around a go-kart track was certainly memorable, to say the least—it was quite the competition.
We ended the evening cheering on Stepson R as he made his way up the rock climbing wall, pleading for just five more minutes. Everyone had a GREAT time playing in the arcade, and it certainly lightened my somber mood to see family and friends together enjoying themselves so much. I mean, isn’t that exactly what we spent all this time planning for—to have friends and family together for an incredibly joyous event? It really changed the way I looked at the remainder of our wedding weekend.
What did you do leading up to the wedding day? Did anyone else have to battle a death in the family just days before your wedding? How did you handle it?
**all photos personal